Four Ways to Leverage Data Analytics


Figuring out how television advertising influences customer engagement across multiple channels has become the No. 1 priority for direct response marketers today. With DRTV response rates receding over the last five years and up to 80 percent of response generated online, it’s easy to see why. To build that understanding, a growing number of marketers use data analytics or data analysis as a critical component of their DR campaigns.

Defined by Techopedia as the “qualitative and quantitative techniques and processes used to enhance productivity and business gains,” data analytics involves extracting and categorizing data to identify behavioral data and patterns. For example, a social networking website collects data related to user preferences and community interests, and segments consumers according to criteria such as demographics, age, or gender. Through analysis, the website can then determine key user and customer trends to facilitate its alignment of content, layout, and overall strategy.

George Leon, Hawthorne Direct’s senior vice president of media/account management, says direct response marketers are well positioned to leverage data analytics. “When it comes to campaign performance, DR marketers and their agencies have always focused on accountability,” he says. “Using data analytics, the same organizations can take that accountability to a new level by focusing on multiple channels—and the cause-and-effect taking place among those channels.”

How to Leverage Data Analytics

  1. Focus on the ultimate consumer engagement. No longer a one-step process, consumer engagement instead involves myriad potential touchpoints and interactions. When sales resulting from television, Web, mobile, retail, and other channels can be measured, assessed for performance, and tweaked accordingly, the entire campaign benefits. “Look at how the consumer engages with your campaign across all platforms,” Leon says, “and then use that information to draw insights into response frequency, buying preferences, and transactions.”
  2. Study key consumer trends. The Internet is a goldmine of information about consumer trends, and data analytics companies themselves publish much of it online. Tools such as Simmons’ National Consumer Studies, for example, feature insights into consumer attitudes, product and brand preferences, media consumption habits, and demographic and lifestyle characteristics. By studying these and other resources, marketers can see how consumers in specific demographics respond to different advertising messages and mechanisms—yet another way to effectively leverage data analytics.
  3. Use the information to become a smarter marketer. Marketers should look carefully at how consumers engage with their products, how customers find their products, the times of the day when they are most likely to purchase the products, and the optimum reach needed to be able to engage those consumers. Seasonality trends, clearance levels at cable network stations, and total category spend should also be factored into the equation. With this information at hand, organizations can draw important insights and formulate success strategies more efficiently.
  4. Make the data actionable from an execution perspective. Having all of the numbers and statistics at your fingertips is one thing, but actually using the data effectively is completely different. Use the data to predict where the consumer is going to be, how he or she will make the purchase, and how you can reach them in that setting and at the right time. “Use the data to stay ahead of the curve and to not only execute on a one-time basis,” Leon says, “but also to duplicate the data in a way that allows you to repeat the successes and avoid the mistakes.”

When marketers take the time to extract and analyze both internal data (customer databases) and external data (tools such as Simmons, Personicx, and others), the results can be significant. Not only can they come away with stronger customer bases, but they can also build greater lifetime value from those consumers. Finally, solid data analytics can help marketers grow their businesses year-over-year, explore new market opportunities, find new customers, and come up with new and innovative ways of reaching those consumers.